Sunday marked the end of an era at CNN, as Brian Stelter signed off in the final episode of long-running series Reliable Sources.
Stelter opened the final episode of Reliable Sources — and his final day at CNN — by addressing news of the cancellation and the "change" happening at parent company Warner Bros. Discovery.
"It's not partisan to stand up for decency and democracy and dialogue. It's not partisan to stand up to demagogues," said Stelter. "It's required. It's patriotic."
"We must make sure we don't give platforms to those who are lying to our faces. But we also must make sure we are representing the total spectrum of debate and representing what's going on in the country and the world."
"That's why CNN needs to be strong," he continued. "That's why believe CNN will be strong. You viewers at home — it's on you. CNN must remain strong."
Stelter urged viewers to "hold CNN accountable," just as they would any other media outlet. "You got to hold your local paper accountable. You got to hold your local digital outlet accountable," he said. "It's on us. We are all members of the media, all helping to make it better."
In a surprise move, CNN canceled Reliable Sources, its longest running show, on Thursday, and announced Stelter's departure with it. The Sunday show has been on the air since 1993, with Stelter serving as host for the past nine years.
The Reliable Sources cancellation is the latest in a long line of changes at CNN — and network boss Chris Licht promises more are looming. Since Licht assumed control this spring, he has limited the use of the "Breaking News" banner, axed the phrase "The Big Lie" when referring to Trump's false election claims, and threatened to oust overly partisan CNN personalities.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.